Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination. As president, he led the country through a great constitutional, military and moral crisis—the American Civil War—preserving the Union while ending slavery and promoting economic and financial modernization. Reared in a poor family on the western frontier, Lincoln was mostly self-educated. He became a country lawyer, an Illinois state legislator, and a one-term member of the United States House of Representatives but failed in two attempts at a seat in the United States Senate. He was an affectionate, though often absent, husband and father of four children.
After deftly opposing the expansion of slavery in the United States in his campaign debates and speeches, Lincoln secured the Republican nomination and was elected president in 1860. Following declarations of secession by southern slave states, war began in April 1861, and he concentrated on both the military and political dimensions of the war effort, seeking to reunify the nation. He vigorously exercised unprecedented war powers, including the arrest and detention without trial of thousands of suspected secessionists. He prevented British recognition of the Confederacy by skillfully handling the Trent affair late in 1861. He issued his Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 and promoted the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, abolishing slavery.
Lincoln closely supervised the war effort, especially the selection of top generals, including the commanding general and future president, Ulysses S. Grant. He brought leaders of various factions of his party into his cabinet and pressured them to cooperate. Under his leadership, the Union took control of the border slave states at the start of the war and tried repeatedly to capture the Confederate capital at Richmond. Each time a general failed, Lincoln substituted another until finally Grant succeeded in 1865. A shrewd politician deeply involved with power issues in each state, he reached out to War Democrats and managed his own re-election in the 1864 presidential election.
As the leader of the moderate faction of the Republican party, Lincoln came under attack from all sides. Radical Republicans wanted harsher treatment of the South, Democrats desired more compromise, and secessionists saw him as their enemy. Lincoln fought back with patronage, by pitting his opponents against each other, and by appealing to the American people with his powers of oratory; for example, his Gettysburg Address of 1863 became one of the most quoted speeches in American history. It was an iconic statement of America’s dedication to the principles of nationalism, equal rights, liberty, and democracy. At the close of the war, Lincoln held a moderate view of Reconstruction, seeking to speedily reunite the nation through a policy of generous reconciliation in the face of lingering and bitter divisiveness. Lincoln was shot and killed by John Wilkes Booth, a Confederate sympathizer, just six days after the surrender of Confederate commanding general Robert E. Lee, marking the first assassination of a U.S. president. Lincoln has frequently been ranked by a majority of scholars as the greatest U.S. president.
Abraham Lincoln Quote
- A friend is one who has the same enemies as you have.
- A house divided against itself cannot stand.
- A woman is the only thing I am afraid of that I know will not hurt me.
- All my life I have tried to pluck a thistle and plant a flower wherever the flower would grow in thought and mind.
- All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.
- Allow the president to invade a neighboring nation, whenever he shall deem it necessary to repel an invasion, and you allow him to do so whenever he may choose to say he deems it necessary for such a purpose – and you allow him to make war at pleasure.
- Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other.
- Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?
- America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.
- Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up, and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable – a most sacred right – a right, which we hope and believe, is to liberate the world.
- As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy.
- As our case is new, we must think and act anew.
- Avoid popularity if you would have peace.
- Ballots are the rightful and peaceful successors to bullets.
- Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm.
- Books serve to show a man that those original thoughts of his aren’t very new at all.
- Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.
- Common looking people are the best in the world: that is the reason the Lord makes so many of them.
- Die when I may, I want it said by those who knew me best that I always plucked a thistle and planted a flower where I thought a flower would grow.
- Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can. As a peacemaker the lawyer has superior opportunity of being a good man. There will still be business enough.
- Don’t interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties.
- Don’t worry when you are not recognized, but strive to be worthy of recognition.
- Every man is said to have his peculiar ambition. Whether it be true or not, I can say for one that I have no other so great as that of being truly esteemed of my fellow men, by rendering myself worthy of their esteem.
- Every one desires to live long, but no one would be old.
- Everybody likes a compliment.
- Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
- Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.
- God must love the common man, he made so many of them.
- Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth.
- He has a right to criticize, who has a heart to help.
- He who molds the public sentiment… makes statutes and decisions possible or impossible to make.
- Hold on with a bulldog grip, and chew and choke as much as possible.
- How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg? Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg.
- I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts.
- I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live by the light that I have. I must stand with anybody that stands right, and stand with him while he is right, and part with him when he goes wrong.
- I can make more generals, but horses cost money.
- I care not much for a man’s religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it.
- I desire so to conduct the affairs of this administration that if at the end… I have lost every other friend on earth, I shall at least have one friend left, and that friend shall be down inside of me.
- I destroy my enemies when I make them my friends.
- I do not think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.
source : wikipedia, http://www.brainyquote.com/t
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